Premier

Certainty And Clarity For Rail Freight Operators

18 December 2023

The Allan Labor Government is providing clarity and certainty for rail freight operators and customers to plan and schedule services with the release of the first Rail Freight Network Capability Statement.

The statement will provide operators with detailed rail knowledge such as line speeds and axle-loads so they can accurately plan with network managers to schedule services, confirm access to train paths and meet the needs of their customers and our producers.

Victoria’s rail-freight network is a critical supply chain enabler moving huge volumes of grain, hay, pulses, wine, grapes, meat, dairy and paper products from freight hubs in regional Victoria and southern New South Wales to our ports for export.

Moving more freight by rail provides environmental, social and economic benefits, producing three times less pollution per tonne per kilometre compared to road freight, supporting the state's net zero emissions target by 2045 and environmental sustainability.

Rail freight is up to nine times safer than road freight and modal shift will support the government's commitment to reduce road fatalities by 50 per cent by 2030 and eliminate road deaths by 2050.

The Labor Government’s $181 million investment from the Victorian Budget 2022-23 is delivering a more efficient and resilient rail freight system, enabling longer and heavier trains to run on the network.

The statement aligns with the Victorian Freight Plan, Delivering the Goods, which is helping grow rail freight’s volume share and providing transparency on network standards and availability.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne

“A stable and transparent operating environment is critical for our freight operators – this statement gives them certainty and clarity to maximise the benefits that come from moving freight by rail.‘’

“We’re making major investments in the rail freight network, supporting industry to get freight moving and boosting the economy.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Public and Active Transport Gabrielle Williams

“We’re building on our record investments in passenger rail by delivering a better rail freight system, enabling longer and heavier trains to run on the network and getting more freight on rail.”

Reviewed 18 December 2023

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